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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2100,
Lessons Learned from International Response to Haiti Earthquake in Population Health Management

Population Health Management

New Rochelle, NY, June 9, 2010— Initial lessons from the Haiti earthquake response point to several significant opportunities for improvement, including more effective public and risk communication, better coordination amongst response organizations and improved logistics management, according to a Roundtable panel discussion presented in Population Health Management, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The Roundtable is available free online.

A select group of individuals who had hands-on experience on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12th, 2010 participated in a panel discussion chaired and moderated by Michael Hopmeier, President, Unconventional Concepts, Inc. (Mary Esther, FL), and convened by the RAND Corporation and the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health and Vanderbilt School of Nursing—National Center for Emergency Preparedness. The participants shared their experiences, observations, and suggestions with the dual goal of improving ongoing efforts by international organizations and aid groups in Haiti and future responses to large-scale population emergencies.

The Roundtable, entitled “Reflections on the Initial Multinational Response to the Earthquake in Haiti,” led to several key conclusions that focused on the need to coordinate healthcare resources and develop a plan to deal with limited hospital capacity; to make better use of indigenous medical personnel who understand the local culture; to provide better security that meets actual, changing needs; to manage the expectations of the host country and develop and communicate a clear transition plan; and to have a plan in place ahead of time for how to provide sustainable care after aid workers have left.

Panel participants included: Jean William Pape, MD, Director, Les Centres GHESKIO (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) and Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University (New York, NY), David Paulison, Former Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Carmona, MD, Former U.S. Surgeon General, Tim Davis, MD, MPH, Commander, U.S. Public Health Service and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, National Disaster Medical System, Kobi Peleg, PhD, MPH, Director, Israeli National Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research, Gili Shenhar, COL (Ret.), Disaster Response Planning, Research and Development, and Emergency Preparedness, Israeli Defense Forces, Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD, CNM, Nancy & Hilliard Travis Professor of Nursing, and Dean, Vanderbilt School of Nursing (Nashville, TN), Sten Vermund, MD, PhD, Director, Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, Vanderbilt University, Janet Nicotera, RN, QA & Research Coordinator, Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, and Arthur Kellermann, MD, MPH, Director, RAND Public Health Systems and Preparedness Initiative (Santa Monica, CA).